Review: “American Hustle” is hustling over to the Golden Globes

Liana Pickrell and Maddy Jones

Jennifer Lawrence, as Rosalyn, blows up her microwave oven. Not only were Lawrence’s lines hilarious, but her actions were as well. Photo by Sony Pictures.


If the star-studded cast of Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper alone can’t win two hours of your time, hopefully the following will change your mind.

A throw back to the corruption of the 70s, with quick-wit comic relief from Lawrence and a compelling storyline to follow, American Hustle hit the big screen at the end of 2013 and was quickly nominated for seven categories, including Best Musical/Comedy and Best Director, for the 71st Golden Globe Awards on Sunday Jan. 12.

Based off of the real-life scandal of the “Abscam,” American Hustle’s adaptation was compelling to watch. “Abscam” was a sting FBI operation that targeted corrupt political leaders, like United States Congressional leaders. The FBI achieved this by setting up a fictional Middle Eastern sheikh to lure the politicians into accepting bribes.

The story follows the crafty couple, Irving Rosenfeld (Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Adams), experienced con-artists, as they get twisted in risky business involving FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper), who is fabricating a story to incriminate senator Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner).

The webs of the relationships between Irving, Sydney, Richie and Irving’s wife, Rosalyn (Lawrence), complicate as the story progresses, creating an intriguing sub-storyline. Rosalyn will not agree to divorce Irving, using custody of their son as leverage to manipulate him. Sydney feigns interest in Richie, although she really loves Irving.

The manipulation and shadiness adds to the complex storyline of Richie, which is difficult to evaluate due to his good intentions but questionable actions. Between the heavier scenes of the corruption and traps of Richie, Sydney and Irving navigating their way through their scheming, the audience is relieved by the witty and somewhat out-of-place character of Lawrence. The comedy in her lines keeps the audience engaged and laughing, as shown in such exchanges as:

Rosalyn: “Life is ridiculous. And you know that I would never say anything bad about your father in front of you, but your father is a sick son-of-a bitch”

Danny: “Daddy’s a sick son-of-a-bitch?

Rosalyn: “Don’t repeat that… but yes.”

The quirky characters, including Richie, who ironically uses con-artists to unveil corruption in the senate, and Rosalyn, who is unintentionally hilarious, makes American Hustle a must see. Hustle over to the theaters to check it out before the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday.

American Hustle is nominated for:

Best Musical/Comedy

Best Director: David O. Russell

Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy: Christian Bale

Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy: Amy Adams

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence

Best Supporting Actor: Bradley Cooper

Best Screenplay: Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell

American Hustle

Rated R for violence, sexual content, language, and alcohol/drug use

Directed by David O. Russell

With Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale